Transfer & Visiting Students

Transfer Students

Applications from transfer students will be considered from individuals who have successfully completed one year in a full-time or part-time program at another law school approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Please see the American Bar Association website for a list of ABA-approved law schools. Successful second-year transfer applicants must complete at least half (45) of the 89 credits required for graduation after enrolling in the Law School. Applicants may not transfer more that 44 credits from another law school.

To receive transfer credit for courses taken at another ABA-approved law school, transfer students or UH law students visiting another ABA-approved law school must first obtain the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The student must provide a syllabus or an official description of the course in sufficient detail to enable the Associate Dean to determine whether the course is substantially similar to an equivalent course at the Law School.

In all cases in which transfer credits are allowed, the grades earned for those credits are not counted toward the student’s GPA; a grade of “Credit” will be used for all transferred credits. A student must have earned at least a grade of “D” for the credits to be transferred. While attending another law program as a visiting student, students must take all courses for a grade; i.e. they may not enroll in courses graded “Pass/Fail” or “Credit/No Credit” unless that law school confirms that the course is only offered “Pass/Fail” or “Credit/No Credit.”

Visiting Students

Students enrolled in another ABA-approved law school may apply to earn credit at the Law School as visiting students. JD degrees will be awarded by their home institutions. Priority in selection is given to those entering the third year of law school.

Admissions

Applications are reviewed for admission to the fall and spring semesters. Applicants must be in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school. 

We give preference to applicants who:

  • have attained a law school ranking in the upper half of their current class (we invite applicants in the lower half of their current class to offer an explanation);
  • are residents of Hawaiʻi;
  • have a close relationship to our State;
  • have with a strong background and continuing interest in Native Hawaiian Law, Pacific-Asian Legal Studies, or Environmental Law;
  • have a compelling personal need to to study in Hawaiʻi (e.g., military transfer);
  • meet our first-year admissions criteria (LSAT score, GPA).

Application

To apply, you must complete the online application for transfer and visiting students via LSAC. We must receive all application materials from LSAC before the deadline.

  • Application Fee: Pay the $75 nonrefundable application fee online at LSAC. Students already enrolled in law school are not eligible for an LSAC fee waiver.
  • Personal Statement: Compose a 500-word personal statement on a subject of your choice.
  • Résumé: Write a résumé detailing your education, extracurricular activity, professional experience, and community service.
  • Addendum: Please discuss your reasons for wanting to transfer to or visit our law school in an addendum. 

Credential Assembly Service (CAS)

  • We must receive your complete Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report) from LSAC before our deadline.
  • Your complete CAS report will include the following items:
    • LSAT Score and Writing Sample;
    • All Undergraduate and Graduate/Professional Transcripts;
    • Two Academic or Professional Letters of Recommendation: We strongly recommend that you submit at least one letter from a law school professor. 

Letters of Good Standing

  • Please request that law school letters of good standing be sent directly to the Admissions Office before our application deadline. In the same letter, ask that the Registrar indicate your class rank or quartile standing (e.g., top quarter, top half). 
  • Visiting Students: If you intend to transfer credits back to your home institution, we will also need a statement that informs us that credits you earn at our law school will be accepted toward your degree at your home institution.

Please send letters of good standing to:

Admissions Office
William S. Richardson School of Law
2515 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822-2350

Financial Aid

  • Transfer Students: If you intend to apply for financial aid, file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as it becomes available on January 1. Need-based scholarships are awarded based upon eligibility and order of FAFSA received. You may indicate "will file" on tax-related questions and then update your responses after you file your taxes. Our federal school code is 001610. Our priority financial aid deadline is March 1.
  • Visiting Students: If you are accepted and need financial aid to meet your educational costs, you will have to arrange to process your financial aid with your home institution. Typically, incoming visiting students pay non-resident tuition. To work through any financial aid agreements with your school, including arrangements for a consortium agreement, please contact the Financial Aid Director at lawfnaid@hawaii.edu or (808) 956-5502.

Decisions

  • Provisional acceptance may be made before the semester's end, but final acceptance will depend on our receipt and evaluation of an updated law school transcript showing the last semester's work.
  • Provisional decisions for spring entry may be made in October.
  • Provisional decisions for fall entry may be made in June.
  • We will e-mail you when we make a decision about your application.
  • We also will update your online status page. You can find the most up-to-date information about your application online.

Contact

Elisabeth Steele Hutchison

Director of Admissions
Office phone
(808) 956-5557